So I resolve to restrict any visit to fashionable retro stores such as Rokit and Pop Boutique to a biannual treat — making shopping special again — while allowing perhaps a monthly mooch around some local charity shops. How to green your eating habits. English Choose a language for shopping.
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AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. I'd convinced myself that I was not particularly materialistic. I don't own my own laptop or any kind of games console or even an iPod.
But auditing my wardrobe — well, rifling through my drawers — was a shock. Why do I have 19 pairs of shoes and trainers, 21 T-shirts, 14 pairs of trousers, seven suits, 10 ties I never wear a tie , 21 pairs of pants, 28 pairs of socks and five odd ones and two pairs of man tights? I could wear a different outfit each day for two months — so why the hell do I pop down to Topman every month and pick up another cheap new shirt imported from the other side of the world? I have suits for work, shorts for running, boots for climbing mountains, tracksuit bottoms for vegetating, flip-flops for the beach, party shirts for partying and reassuring knitwear for meeting great aunts.
I have five pairs of gloves, four hats and two eye-masks. I have most bases, and all extremities, more than covered. Like most people, I find shopping in our soulless malls and tatty clone high streets an increasingly tedious chore. Clothes, however, remain the exception. As a shy teenager, clothes made me feel better about my crap body; a new shirt still gives me a lift for at least three wears.
After that, the shirt is still fine but the buzz wears off. This is a familiar consumerist addiction. But I have almost as many years behind me as shirts; I should grow out of such cheap, confidence-boosting tricks.
Giving up buying new clothes has a "hair shirt element which is not appealing to most people", says Chris Goodall , author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet. The idea we have got to consume less is incompatible with the culture of the moment. Rather than go cold turkey, Goodall recommends I wean myself off this clothes addiction by continuing to buy secondhand. Here, however, I could abuse the challenge and buy just as much by visiting upmarket vintage boutiques and filling my boots on eBay.
This would still involve plenty of carbon-guzzling clothing miles, what with stock deliveries and posting parcels. Besides, if I cleared the shelves in Oxfam, its customers might then pop down to Primark. So I resolve to restrict any visit to fashionable retro stores such as Rokit and Pop Boutique to a biannual treat — making shopping special again — while allowing perhaps a monthly mooch around some local charity shops.
Ideally, he says, we would have clothes that lasted a lifetime and swap them between ourselves when we wanted the thrill of the new. We could also fulfil our need to reinvent ourselves, and not look scruffy, by making our own new clothes from reconditioned fabrics.
This might sound far-fetched but one ordinary bloke, John-Paul Flintoff , taught himself to sew, and now customises, makes and mends his own clothes — and has written a book, Through the Eye of a Needle, about it. I am not confident I will ever buy a sewing machine, but I am making two modest resolutions. One, sew buttons back on shirts; two, clean my shoes. My favourite desert boots sum up everything that is wrong about my attitude to clothes. I bought them a year ago and have worn them almost every day this year.
Despite loving them, I have never once polished or protected them, because I can't be bothered and I know I can go out tomorrow and buy a new pair. So no more of that: Calculating the precise carbon saving is not straightforward. Polyester is better than wool and cotton, for example, which have a big impact on greenhouse gases and consume other finite resources such as water in their production.
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